Construction works on the Bumbobi-Manafwa-Lwakhakha road project stands at 92 per cent, according to the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA).

The Uganda National Roads Authority (Unra) signed a contract with a Chinese construction company [China State Construction Engineering Ltd] to upgrade the Mbale–Lwakhakha road under the consultancy services of. SGI JV.

The road works contract was signed by China State Construction Engineering Ltd on 26, September 2016 and the commencement order was issued in December 2016.

According to Eng Titus Aleper, the UNRA project manager [Bumbobi-Lwakhakha road] although the project original duration was 24 months, UNRA approved EOT of 261 days and that the extended completion date was also extended to September 2020.

While speaking on a local radio Station [OPG FM] 30 July in Mbale, Eng Aleper said by April last year, the Contractor had achieved 45.1% cumulative physical progress against 85.6% cumulative Planned progress.

“And the physical progress on the Bumbobi – Lwakhakha road (44.5 km) now stands at 92% and by September the works will be complete and early October the project will be handed over to us for use,” said Eng Aleper.

Eng Aleper revealed that the contractor is also going to tarmac town roads along the main project area as scope of the project road; Nabumali town council, Manafwa circular road in Manafwa town council, Bubutu town council and Lwakhakha town council in Namisindwa district.

“I want to state that we shall also tarmac about 5.8Km of roads in town councils along the road project and also put solar street lights along in the main centres along the road,” said Eng Aleper.

He said further that the road has a width of 10 m, 7 m carriageway (two lanes each 3.5 m wide) and paved shoulders on either sides of the road each 1.5 m in the rural area and 2.0 m wide in trading centres.

He added that an additional 3.5 m wide parking lane in built-up areas and that the width of the existing road has been widened in certain places, all existing culverts have been extended and headwalls have been replaced.

“And for easier maintenance, culverts with a diameter of not less than 900 mm and proper concrete inlet/ outlet structures have been installed,” said Eng Aleper.

He explained that Nabumali will get 1.7Km of tarmac road from Nabumali corner to Nabumali boarding Primary school and that this means that Nabumali high school road will get tarmac for the first time since its construction,” said Eng Aleper.

Eng Aleper said UNRA was not going to compensate anybody for the road expansion in the town councils but asked the local leadership to sensitise their people to give away land of about 9.6m width and 2.8m for the road shoulders for better road construction in the towns.

Mr John Musira, the LCV chairman for Manafwa district said the road will boost trade at Lwakhakha border post and further integration.

Mr Musira said great progress has been registered on Bumbobi – Lwakhakha (44.5km) road connecting Mbale to the Lwakhakha border with Kenya and that whereas construction works are still ongoing, there is hope that by October everything will have been completed.

“This is one of the roads with potential to promote trade, tourism and further east African integration process,” she said.

About Bumbobi-Lwakhakha Road [44.5km]

The Government of Uganda (GoU) in line with the Road Sector Development Program (RSDP) applied for a loan from the African Development Fund (ADF) towards the cost of the Road Sector Support Project 5 (RSSP V).

And using this find, the Bumbobi-Lwakhakha has been upgraded from gravel/earth roads to Bitumen standard roads. The project is to be implemented by the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA).